Hot, humid, stuffy, stale. If any of these words describe your upstairs in the summer, spending any time up there is miserable, and trying to sleep is out of the question.
Cranking up the AC isn’t always the answer if you want to cool down a room. For one thing, heat is always going to rise and make its way upstairs. The lower levels of your home might be freezing before the upstairs cools off–and you’ll get a huge energy bill to boot. Plus, there are plenty of summer days that aren’t hot enough to cool the entire home, yet the upstairs remains stuffy and uncomfortable.
It’s time to find some relief from the heat without spending a fortune.
Reduce Heat Gains
Preventing overheating in the first place is a good start. Keep all lights and electronics off during the warmest hours of the day as they all give off heat. Also, be sure shades and drapes are tightly closed while the sun is shining to prevent the room from heating up from the blazing sun.
It can also help to minimize heat-generating activities downstairs, too. Running the oven, hot showers, operating the clothes dryer. All of these things will generate heat that will make its way upstairs.
Stale air is going to feel unpleasant no matter the temperature. The key to improving comfort is to keep air moving so it doesn’t become stagnant. If you’re running the air conditioner, be sure all the registers in upstairs rooms are clear of furniture and other obstructions if you want to cool down a room.
For central AC, be sure the furnace damper is set to the correct position to push more cooled air upstairs. You can also mostly close registers downstairs and open them fully upstairs for a similar effect. Register fans can also help pull more cooled air upstairs.
Lastly, use ceiling and floor fans to keep the air moving while you’re in the room. Moving air will evaporate moisture from your skin and take a bit of heat with it so you feel cooler. Remember, fans cannot change the temperature of the air so be sure to turn them off when you’re not in the room.
Strategic Window Work
If you’re not using the air conditioner, take your window game plan to the next level by moving the opened and closed windows as the sun makes its way across the sky.
First, by opening a window downstairs on the shady side of the house and opening one upstairs on the sunny side, you’ll create a naturally-cooling airflow. Boost this effect with a fan blowing out in the upstairs window–this is one fan you can leave on when you’re not in the room.
When the heat of the day arrives, close off most of the upstairs by closing doors and pulling curtains tight, but leave one window open for ventilation. That will allow rising heat to escape the home without drawing additional warm air up from downstairs.
Heat-Proof Your Home
Investing a bit into cooling off your home will not only make it more comfortable, but it will also reduce the load on your air conditioner so you save money in the long run. Here are a few ideas:
- Tighten Up Windows. Leaky windows let expensive cold air seep out and hot air in. Close the gaps with caulk and weatherstripping for an airtight seal.
- Light Colored Paint. Dark colors absorb more heat than lighter colors. A bit of redecorating with fresh colors will help fend off the warmth.
- Awnings and Shades. Awnings keep rooms shady and stop the sun from roasting your rooms. These can be especially helpful if you’re trying to take advantage of open windows.
- Address the Attic. Attic temperatures can reach 150 degrees or more on a hot summer day! Make sure soffit vents are working, and consider adding a bit of extra insulation to keep hot air up in the attic instead of upstairs.
Cool Down A Room And Keep Yourself Comfortable
Along with your urge to cool down a room upstairs, cooling yourself will also help you to be more comfortable. For example, a hot shower will warm you up and add humidity to your home. A cool shower or bath will lower your body temperature without adding heat and moisture to the air. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and refreshed, and a simple fan to keep the air moving will make a big difference.
Let Energy Monster Help
A Home Energy Assessment is a one-stop solution for making your home more comfortable while shaving dollars from your energy bills. We’ll provide you with energy-efficient (and cool) LED and CFL bulbs, professional air sealing for windows and doors, recommendations for insulation, and find out if you qualify for rebates and tax credits to offset your costs.
Ready to learn more? Contact Energy Monster for your Home Energy Assessment today!Return to Blog